The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays square off on Friday, April 22nd with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. Michael Wacha (0-0, 0.96) takes the bump for Boston as Tampa Bay sends Corey Kluber (0-0, 1.86 ERA) to the mound.
The Red Sox (6-7) have lost two in a row and are 2-3 in their last five games. As soon as their bats started heating up, they instantly cooled off. They are needing a spark at the plate and they should at least get one on the mound with Wacha starting. Through two starts, he has pitched 9.1 innings and given up three hits, one earned run and has struck out nine batters.
The Rays (7-6) are the opposite of Boston as they have won two games in a row and are 3-2 in their last five. The Tampa Bay youth movement is in full effect with standout performances from Wander Franco and Francisco Mejia in the early part of the season. They will send the veteran arm of Kluber to the mound who is looking to prove he still has some stuff left in the tank. The 36-year-old has started two games and has combined for 9.2 innings and has given up seven hits, two earned runs while striking out nine batters.
Red Sox vs. Rays
Pitchers: Michael Wacha vs. Corey Kluber
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Red Sox local broadcast: NBC Sports Boston
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Moneyline odds: Boston +130, Tampa Bay -150
Picks & predictions
Moneyline pick: Tampa Bay -150
This one is going to be a close game with two veteran arms battling it out on the mound. The Rays lineup has had a little more firepower of late giving them the edge here. Wacha is experiencing an apparent career resurgence for Boston but is long gone from his days as a team’s ace. Look for the Rays to continue their momentum and take the first game of the series.
Player prop pick: Ji-Man Choi Over 0.5 hits (-150)
Choi is platooned at first base but gets the start against right-handers. He is hitting .393 with 11 hits, three doubles and two home runs. He is 1-9 at the plate but should be able to turn that around in this game knocking at least one hit.
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